The National Center for Lesbian Rights is opening Transgender Awareness Weekwith the launch of #HealthcareIsCaring, a campaign aimed at transforming the narrative surrounding trans youth’s access to health care and empowering parents to support their trans children.
It comes at a time when gender-affirming care for young trans people is being banned in conservative states across the nation — 22 states at last count — and the provision of such care is sometimes being criminalized or being defined as child abuse. There has also been an effort by Republicans in Congress to ban such care nationwide.
NCLR seeks to tell what gender-affirming care and supportive parents mean for trans youth. The campaign includes a short film featuring trans young people their parents — Cameron and his mother, Myriam, from Texas; Allie and her father, Sean, from New York; and Luke and his mother, Jen, from Illinois. The film was created in collaboration with Emmy-nominated director Zen Pace and the Windy Films production agency.
“The families in our campaign, like so many other families with transgenderchildren, are proof that helping transgender youth get medically needed care can enable them to lead happy and successful lives,” NCLR Legal Director Shannon Minter said in a press release. “Still, many legislators continue to push harmful policies that prevent these young people from getting the health care they need and deserve. We’re working to take action against these bills and show the politicians behind them that transgender youth and their families are not alone.”
NCLR has successfully challenged state bans on medical care for transgender adolescents in Alabama, Florida, and Kentucky. This month, NCLR filed a petitionasking the U..S. Supreme Court to review the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision in Doe v. Commonwealth of Kentucky reversing the victory in the Kentucky challenge. If the Supreme Court takes the case, it will be the first case involving transgender youth ever heard by the high court.
The campaign was created by public relations company Edelman and its Out Front LGBTQ+ task force. Edelman recently conducted a survey in which 74 percent of respondents said they believe parents want what’s best for their children when it comes to medical care.
“This campaign is proof of two things: the magic that happens when you bring people of every discipline together to drive meaningful change, and that having access to trans healthcare isn’t just critical to helping youth survive, but to thrive as well,” said Jordan Atlas, Edelman’s U.S. chief creative officer.
Of the film, Pace said, “This film is special to me because not only does it touch my community, but it helps put forward a much more accurate story of these families that simply doesn’t exist out there. It gives space to these parents; it’s a gift from their children.”
NCLR also has an open letter for the public to sign in support of health care for trans youth, and it offers a variety of resources explaining gender-affirming care..